Schalke striker Raul is set to extend his contract with the Bundesliga club after expressing his desire to stay with the Royal Blues.
Raul moved to Gelsenkirchen from Real Madrid 18 months ago and, with the prospect of another season of UEFA Champions League football next year, he today admitted that he would be happy to extend his existing deal, which expires in June.
"I hope I can carry on playing with Schalke because I am very happy here," he told reporters at a press conference at Schalke's training camp in Doha.
"We are very happy here - very happy [living] in Dusseldorf and with Schalke. I am optimistic that we will reach an agreement. At the moment, there is absolutely no reason not to extend my contract with Schalke."
Raul is due to open negotiations imminently having helped guide the club to third in the table at the midway stage of the season. His ten goals so far have put the Royal Blues into a position where they can even dream of winning the title, according to the 34-year-old.
"We played a great first half of the season and now we want to carry on where we left off," said the Spaniard. "It can be an advantage for us that nobody has mentioned the title here, neither internally nor externally.
"But if we are still only three points from the top with five games to go, then of course one can talk about it.
"I know full well from my time at Real what it feels like to win titles and it would be marvellous to experience something like that with Schalke too. I would love to get my hands on the Bundesliga title."
"The team is very strong and playing very successfully at the moment, which is why a return is not an issue for me at the moment," he said. "But if the coach really did call me, then of course I would be willing to talk."